AN 84-year-old West Cork man who was sent to hospital with a suspected stroke or aneurysm had to wait a total of 10 hours on a chair before being seen.
His wife, Eileen Hayes, (77) is furious about the healthcare system in this country and is taking every opportunity to give the candidates standing in the election in Cork South West an earful.
‘They are telling us lies,’ she said, ‘about the healthcare service and about the number of people waiting on trolleys. When we went to CUH recently, my husband wasn’t even given a trolley.
‘He had to sit on a chair for up to 10 hours before he was seen at 3am.’
Mrs Hayes, from Kilbrittain, explained that the family GP referred Michael to the hospital because his left eye had closed and she wanted him to be examined to determine the cause.
‘We were worried that it might have been a stroke, or an aneurysm, so we did not delay.
‘But when we got there, we were left sitting there from 5.30pm to 3am,’ said Mrs Hayes, who left the southside Cork hospital shortly after 7.30am because she needed to rest.
‘I am receiving treatment for a bad back and was shattered after sitting up all night on a chair.’
At that stage, she said, Michael had been seen, ‘but we still didn’t know what was wrong with him. He was put on a stretcher at 3am and parked slap, bang, in the middle of the waiting room.
‘When we went back up the next day at 12.30pm he was still parked in the waiting room, and, when the doctor came, he apologised, but said they had no place else to take him.
‘It was there in the middle of the waiting room that we had the consultation and, thankfully, an MRI that was done that morning showed it was nerve palsy in his eye that caused it to close, and not anything more serious.’
According to Mrs Hayes: ‘The whole healthcare system is wrong. You can see that the doctors and nurses are run off their feet.
‘The experience for us that night was awful, but there were others in a worse situation – some of the people there were in agony.’
She added: ‘We’ve been going to hospitals all our lives and never before did we have to wait all those hours – it is out of control. We should not, at this stage of our lives, have to fight for our rights.’